Friday, March 28, 2008

Oops - I just dropped my fork ....

Every so often one comes across an item that proves there is no end to creativity when it comes to separating large chunks of disposable cash from folks who clearly have too much of it!

For 20,000 Euros, or thereabouts, you too can treat 21 of your closest friends to dinner - at the end of a steel cable, 150 feet or so above the ground.

But don’t waste an invitation on me; I can’t eat when I’m nauseous.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well I sure feel a lot safer flying the friendly skies ....

"A gun belonging to the pilot of a US Airways plane went off as the aircraft was on approach to land in North Carolina over the weekend, the first time a weapon issued under a federal program to arm pilots was fired, authorities said."

Read the rest here.

Luckily no one was injured, but, hey, terrorism was surely thwarted once again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fiscal mismanagement, thy name is Flaherty

The income trust fiasco is just one of several financial missteps by the fiscally-challenged Minister of Finance and his puppet-master, but probably one of the most damaging to Canada’s economy.

Now Diane Francis (National Post)
again brings the incompetence of the government on this issue to the forefront with a report claiming that “A B.C. by-election was lost as a result of the income-trust flip flop and was a critical issue according to the losing Tory candidate.”

The article goes on, quoting Sue Riddell Rose, CEO of Paramount Energy Trust:

Ottawa's attack has ruined the junior oil sector, too, since October, 2006, despite soaring oil prices, she said.

"The junior oil sector is no longer vibrant. There is no exit strategy, which was to sell oil and gas assets to trusts," she said. Put another way, if oil prices had remained the same as when Flaherty made his tax announcement on Oct. 31, 2006, the oilpatch would be in "dire" straits. "They did not do their homework. They did not understand the industry and they have deceived the Canadian public," she said.


She said a rough guess is that Flaherty's folly has cost governments at least $1-billion in tax revenues ...

This was all a massive fraud perpetrated on Canadian taxpayers and income trust investors, and as I
said back in December, is one issue that will not go quietly into the night. Nor do we want it to.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It’s dinner time. Do you know where your food is coming from?

Under Canada’s antiquated food labelling laws, any food product can be labelled Made in Canada, “as long as 51 per cent of the production costs, including labour, transportation and packaging were incurred in Canada”.

That means that the actual food item itself could be coming from China, Mexico, Guatemala, anywhere, and as long as the cost of repackaging, storing, handling and shipping in Canada exceeds the cost of the food content, it qualifies to have a Made in Canada label stuck on it.

Even if the law is dated, I don’t understand why anyone, at any time, would have felt that a food item not grown and processed here in Canada could ever have been considered as being made in Canada – 51% threshold or not.

However that’s the way it is now, and the regulations need to be changed.

How will this work again?

Florida is trying to enact a Droopy Pants law, in part because of the fashion’s origins, which, according to the article, was in prisons where the saggy pants were worn by inmates as an indicator they were looking for sex.

And so what’s the penalty for wearing droopy pants in school you ask? Up to 60 days in jail.

There was no mention whether offenders would be able to take their pants with them.

Credit where it's due ....

As reported in the National Post:

Calgary Northeast MP Art Hanger says the Conservative government has the means to stop the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, B.C., to Alliant Techsystems of Minnesota.

"It is a waste of your money and a betrayal of the public interest," Mr. Hanger writes in a weekly newspaper in the Calgary area. "It's about time Canada stop playing the nice guy at the expense of our own security and sovereignty --not to mention our own research and development capacity."

He added: "Why do we so rarely stand firm and fight for what's Canadian? Isn't it time we started protecting our own interests in this country?"

Hear, hear!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

John Baird - Young Global Leader???

So the World Economic Forum has selected John Baird as one of 243 Young Global Leaders named today. He of the big mouth joins such other luminaries as Tony Hawk, Anderson Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio and another couple of hundred unknowns. (News item here.)

According to Baird, he was pleased to be so honoured, but has no idea why. I can see why he is confused, as the criteria are, apparently: “being under age 40; having a record of extraordinary achievement and a track record of substantial leadership experience; and a demonstrated commitment to serve society at large.” Well I guess one out of four ain’t bad.

Wasn’t it Groucho Marx who so famously said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”?

Speak up for Brenda

Since CTV’s W-FIVE airing of this story a few weeks ago (which I originally posted on here), there has developed a groundswell of interest in Brenda Martin’s situation by the MSM and in the blogosphere. Clearly the Harper government and the incompetent Helena Guergis are not interested in doing what needs to be done to publicly chastise Mexico and get Brenda Martin home, but the combined power of others (thank you, Paul Martin) and public outrage just may do the trick.

To contact the Mexican Embassy to Canada, just go

Here’s my message to Mexico:

"Be advised that as a result of your continued incarceration of a Canadian, Brenda Martin, without conviction, we have cancelled our planned vacation to the Mexican Riviera. Furthermore I am encouraging friends, colleagues, and anyone else I can reach to do the same.

The Canadian government may be loathe to act, but I can assure you, the Canadian people aren’t."

Tell them what you think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stand by your man ....

Now that everyone else has had a kick at the can about the Spitzer scandal, it’s my turn. Eliot Spitzer obviously showed a serious lapse of judgement (several times) and deserves whatever he gets in my opinion. But this isn’t about him so much as it is about his wife.

Look at this picture – Silda Spitzer would rather be getting a root canal without anaesthetic than be standing there beside her husband. So why is she? How is it that these politicians can do something so mind-numbingly stupid, get caught, and then convince their wives to stand stoically by their side and share in their personal humiliation and embarrassment? I know if this was me, I’d be on my own in front of the cameras. That’s not to say I’d be necessarily headed for divorce court (although that would be a distinct possibility if there was 80 grand and a few hookers in the equation), but the message from my wife would be pretty clear: “You did it. You deal with it.” And you know what? She would be right.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Loyal Opposition is beginning to piss me off!

It looks like the wheels are now starting to come off the Harper transparency and accountability train, to wit:

- The Cadman affair (Some ‘honourable person’ is lying – and likely more than one.)
- The NAFTA affair (Oops, did I say that out loud?)
- The Blair affair (Why shouldn’t I meddle in a municipal election? It’s my money.)
- The Mulroney-Schreiber affair (More brown envelopes – this time containing evidence.)
- The Flaherty-McGuinty discourse (The Penis Dialogues - Mine is Bigger than Yours!)
- The election funding “In and Out” affair (Ah, who cares, it’s just accounting.)
- The Environment Commissioner’s Report (Ah, who cares, it’s just the environment.)

A primo opportunity to push the attack and hopefully finish off an opponent whose knees are starting to buckle, and what’s the best Dion and the boys can come up with? Some lame
motion to blame the NDP and Bloc for Harper’s Cons being elected in the first place.